South Jersey Times Girls’ Soccer Notebook: Washington Twp. holds its own in the robust division
Washington Township has had a good start to the women’s football season, especially given the competition the Minutemaids face each week.
Township participates in the US Division of the Olympic Conference which in most sports is considered the best in South Jersey and in women’s football it certainly is.
Opponents in the US Six-Team Division meet twice in the regular season.
That means two games apiece against a team like Eastern, ranked No.1 in the State’s Top 20 from NJ.com. Plus, other top teams include Shawnee, Cherokee, and Lenape. The sixth team is Cherry Hill East, who started week 0-6 in the United States but had two competitive games against Washington Township.
At the start of the week, Township was 5-2-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the US Division. Included was a 3-2 victory over a Shawnee team that twice lost decisions to an unbeaten East goal. In addition, Township tied Cherokee, 1-1. It’s a Cherokee team that also lost a 1-0 decision to Eastern.
Township has played close games against every team in the U.S. Division except for the 5-2 loss to the East last week.,
“We have a lot of new girls from last year, so I think in the first two games they really learned to play together,” said Township coach Katie Sachs, a former Washington Township player. . “Playing this type of competition is definitely going to make us a better team. “
Senior goalie Kelsey Newton along with fellow captains Gianna Garozzo and Jessica Castorina provided strong leadership according to Sachs.
Newton kept the Minutemaids in many games. It averages 8.5 saves per game.
Township will see how far he has progressed later this month when the Minutemaids meet Shawnee, Tri-County Royal Division leader Williamstown and finally Eastern in six days.
A return to successful coaching
Schalick coach Bob Mannino has been enjoying coming back to the sidelines after spending a long time away from training. Mannino went 264-130-28 in 22 years as the head coach of Triton. His last season as head coach was in 2006 and he retired from Triton athletic director in 2010.
Since then he has held several part-time jobs, most notably as security for some of Schalick’s sporting events.
When an opening happened after the 2019 season, Mannino applied and was hired.
It wasn’t easy in his first year, with the COVID restrictions, but somehow Mannino made it work. The Cougars were 13-3, including 8-0 in the Tri-County Diamond Division. Schalick also advanced to the South West A section final before losing 2-0 to champion Haddon Township.
Schalick started this week 7-2-1 and 5-0 in the Diamond division.
“It’s great and I really enjoyed coaching at Schalick,” said Mannino.
Mannino likes his teams to have an attacking mentality, which is certainly the case with the Cougars, who had scored 48 goals in their first 10 games.
Junior Kerri Jackson led the way with 18 goals and 11 assists.
“She is a really talented player who is very good with both feet and sees the field well,” said Mannino. “When I get stuck sometimes, I move her from midfield to defense.”
The Cougars appear to be a contender again in what looks like a wide open South Jersey Group 1 field.
Boucher de Delsea takes a big step forward
Senior Delsea Riley Boucher was a scoring force for the Crusaders. She started the week with 14 goals, more than half of the Crusaders’ total, who scored 27.
Boucher transferred from Hammonton last season and immediately fitted in, with four goals and three assists in the shortened 14-game season.
This season, she has taken her game to another level.
“She had a really good year last season and this year she’s made progress and got comfortable with the goals and that’s something you saw towards the end of last year. “said Delsea coach Christian Cortese. “She scores goals and is a playmaker and when the ball is on her foot she gets things done.”
Pitman’s Castorina Galvin has scored at least one goal in nine straight games and started the week with 18 goals and four assists. . … Gateway’s Gwen Farino, who scored 10 goals last season, has already reached that total this year. … Williamstown has non-league games against the reigning sectional championship in consecutive days this week, hosting Haddonfield on Wednesday and visiting Ocean City (No. 2 in the NJ.com Top 20) on Thursday. … Since losing to rival Millville, Vineland has started the week with a three-game winning streak.
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